- Differences in lung functions of school-age children who lived near two electrical power plants in the Ashkelon district of Israel were studied. Lung-function tests were performed, and the American Thoracic Society questionnaire was administered in three study periods during the following years: (1) 1990, (2) 1994, and (3) 1997. Measurements of air pollutants (i.e., sulfur dioxide, nitric oxides, ozone) were also taken during the aforementioned study periods. Statistical analysis included an estimation of a series of fixed-effects regression models. A total of 2,455, 1,613, and 4,346 observations were included in the analyses for study years 1990, 1994, and 1997, respectively. The authors controlled for age, sex, height, weight, parents' education and smoking status, and being born out of Israel, and, consequently, substantial differences in lung function across the different communities and study periods were demonstrated in the study area. No robust association with air pollution was demonstrated. The cause of these differences in the respiratory health of children remains unknown.